59w, 2dThe GREAT and POWERFUL TRIXIE
Trixie was not sure if she was awake or not. She could think, but that was the only proof that she recognized her own self. What happened to her body? She tried to stand up, but to no avail. All of her four hooves seemed to be completely detached from her body. No amount of effort could convey her any feeling of her usual body parts. Nor could she rely on her senses; the only thing she could feel was the void surrounding her, something that could be only perceived, nothing else.
As it would be a great insult to her title, the Great and Powerful, Trixie did not feel terrified at all. The terms she would use to describe her feelings right now were ‘mildly irritated’ or ‘somewhat annoyed’, not ‘deathly scared’ or ‘completely terrified'. Amongst every tricks and illusions, amidst thousands and millions of lies and deceits, Trixie always found a thread of reality. She was a magician, after all.
But every night she would eventually, temporarily succumb to the fantasies she had in store, for even the Great and Powerful Trixie needed to take a break from her ordeal, and let her mind freely wander in the immaterial realm, unbounded by physical laws of the reality. Or, in plain terms, she just dreamt a lot. But not just ordinary ones, magical ones too; in such cases the adjective ‘magical’ was not to be confused with the diction ‘fantastic’, for magical dreams, in Trixie’s opinion, were not quite ‘magical’ as onepony imagined them to be.
The plain ones she dreamt the most: back when she was young, when she first succeeded in making the jewelry rainbow, at that night, in her bed, or to be more precise, in her dream, she was the Lord of the Rainbow, commanding every Equestria’s seven-colored arcs with her word. She was indeed the master, everypony enjoying her show. Not only the six-colored rainbows, but whole spectrum of every color existed compiled into one giant rainbow that could even blot out the midday sun. Somepony might dare to question her title as the Rainbow Lord, but in the dream she was the master of the show, and either through shrewd manipulation or pure skill she captivated the neighsayers armed with useless skepticisms, eventually subjecting them under the magnificent Trixie, eventually making them to recite her name in awe.
Of course, her dreams could be darker, gloomier…few days ago, Trixie recalled, in her dream she faced the giant star-bear. It was charging straight at her, but she was unable to move, her horns devoid of any magical energy. Trixie tried to scream, the sheer terror temporarily paralyzing her senses and wits, but wondered whether her muffled pathetic whimpers would do anything. She watched helplessly as the beast drew close to her.
Later she woke up from the nightmare. Her whole body was covered in sweat, and she was shaking uncontrollably at the sheer volume of the terror. Right before the claws reached her fur she woke up, on the verge of the pain registering its presence within her nerve. Utter dread filling her entire body and mind. She dared not to make any sound until she got hold of herself and reminded that it was those thread of thoughts that emerged from her bitter experiences, though she could not be so sure of herself this time. Trixie lied on the bed motionless for several minutes, the muscles all tense and paralyzed by the supernatural beast she faced, and the dark illusion she just had.
Still, nightmares were fairly easy foes to overcome once she could identify how they worked. They were nightmares after all, and if she could trick ponies all over Equestria with her cunning tricks and pranks, there were no reasons why she should not be able to defeat these nocturnal ponies with her wits. The star-bear incident had left within her consciousness a considerable amount of bitterness, but Trixie was confident that in due time she would be able to confront the shadowy creatures who often came to her in darkest hours.
Then there were the ‘magical’ ones. Her dreams were usually her mind somehow catching one thread of her flow of thoughts and expanding upon it. Magical dreams, however, they showed Trixie the entire thread of her consciousness, of the whole process of how she picked out her reality, of the indescribable void filling her mind. Trixie was not so sure how could she dream of such things. If she was really tired, maybe after the big show, then her dream might be magical.
Like after watching the magic mirror, falling briefly under its spell and living the life of finding another version of her. Then her dreams could end up being ‘magical’, like the emptiness that surrounded her right now. That idea Trixie thought quite probable, for yesterday’s sleep had not been altogether pleasant. She figured it would be best to sink back to the sweet forgetfulness of the sleep; she dearly wished to be relieved of her task of organizing her ever-tangled thoughts, and when she felt the wave of fatigue taking her once again, she did not resist.
More of an instinct rather than an awareness, Trixie slowly gained consciousness, emerging from the oblivious pleasure she had taken momentarily. Great and Powerful. Great and Powerful Trixie. She whispered in her feeble, half-asleep state, her lips barely moving to sound the syllables. Nothing better than to start her morning with reiterating her title; she just loved the epithet. It fitted her perfectly. Uttering the lovingly magnificent three words was one of methods Trixie employed to start the day in good spirits and reengage her task of sorting out her flow of thoughts.
After her consciousness came her senses. Trixie did not miss the aroma gently caressing her nose, the refreshing scent of the warm day and cool night air harmoniously blended into a single unison, the exact manifestation of the two celestial beings working together in the sky, granting light and peace…
That was the first sense Trixie registered after her head was capable of processing the information her senses brought, her consciousness now fully springing to life. But why the smell of a perfume, she wondered. Four days she smelt bare wood and chilly morning air when she woke up. Why the sudden change? Trixie tried to work around her logic process, but it was always easier said than done-in this case easier thought then done. With her eyes still closed and immersed in a half-asleep state, she continued on her grand morning duty of waking up.
Was she still dreaming, drastically shifting, and crossing multiple boundaries of the dreamworld? Possibly. It seemed probable, for there have been more than several incidents where Trixie found herself in the dreamworld with her acutely aware of the situation. For a moment she wondered whether this one was her occasional sentient dreams; usually they left pieces of memories of which Trixie often found it hard to assess without suppressing a shudder when she looked back in reminiscience.
Dream or not, Trixie felt intrigued with this new change in her environment, and decided, albeit feeling a slight degree of apprehension, to muse further about the source of the scent. It was definitely there, not too strong or thick, the perfect example of the term ‘just right’. Nevertheless the splendid aroma did nothing to help Trixie’s already troubled mind. All sorts of questions invaded Trixie’s head. Her makeshift wooden cottage did not afford much space, and she knew better than to commit the ridiculous act of affording luxury goods in her current state. Rapidly working her mind to produce some theories she could take, she came to conclude that the presence of perfume smells she was still in the realm of uncertainty, her physical body still blissfully unaware of what was happening with her mind.
Trixie, the Great and Powerful Trixie, the magician; she was Trixie. Countless images and visions, but there was only one Trixie. She decided to see, to look, to gaze; to identify and to interpret with her own eyes. The perfume she could smell. What information would other sense yield to her? Was she still dreaming, or was she lost in her thoughts? Or had she fallen into petty trick that she labeled it as laughable?
Trixie, the Great and Powerful. She constantly reminded herself. But as much as she hated to admit, Trixie knew sometimes, sometimes all it took was just one small mistake to ruin the magician’s show. Like the moment when that despicable two little unicorns brought the star-bear. She cringed at the thought, but her mind held remarkably well. Years she perfected not only the art of the magician, but also the mind of the magician. She looked into the mirror, and assumed control of her feelings and emotions. Trixie was her one and the only master. It was her conviction, to a level of a blind obsession. Every morning, as soon as her mind reemerged from the sweet darkness that took her every night, she undertook the job of reminding how she was the master of herself.
Trixie, the Great and Powerful. She took a deep breath, bit her lips, and gulped quite audibly and noticeably. She opened her eyes.
She was lying down, feeling the soft fabric at her back. The bed she was lying down had a roof, of which she could see the arcane signs shaped into two heavenly beings, the sun and the moon. Her gaze soon moved down, her mind eager to hold more clues and cues to whatever situation she was in. The ivory-colored drawer, the red silk cushions, the rug, the violet porcelain vase filled with freshly picked flowers; the room she was all too familiar with Trixie, yet so foreign.
Trixie congratulated herself for not letting a single gasp escaping from her mouth. For a unicorn who once again found herself in a strange inversed world that made a mockery out of her, she was fairly relaxed, merely gazing at the hollow luxury before her. No screaming, but only silently staring at the unnatural sight before her and ponder over the situation she was into.
Already in her mind she found the piece of memory she was searching for: looking into the mirror and finding alternate version of her. She swore she would not fall for the tricks, and when she felt fatigue taking better of her she fell asleep; like any other days. But the mirror was better then she thought at pulling its tricks. It was cleverer then she thought, somehow drawing her back to its territory once again.
Hence she did not gasp when she saw the lavender unicorn at the far right corner of the room, still wearing the dress that matched Trixie’s mane and fur color, not to mention the blue crescent moon and falling stars sewed into the attire. Another joke that the mirror was pulling of, Trixie assumed, wondering how best to make out of this ridiculous show she was on. As much as she was irritated by this cruel yet still laughable con, she held her horse, containing her enmity well under her hooves.
But how long she could take? Surely she did not had to remind herself that it was Twilight who put in her misery in the first place? Though, not really, for Trixie knew the lavender unicorn did succeed in vanquishing the star-bear back to where it came from. The only thing she could blame was herself, as she felt somewhere in her mind ripped apart to the undeniable hard fact. Her incredible level of self-control prevailed at the end, and she swiftly turned her attention to contemplating what to do now.
So she was inside the grand show the mirror was displaying; there certainly was some degree of sweetness in it, making her cry the first time she was so abruptly thrown out. Now doubts began to gnaw her mind; did the mirror do that on purpose, to make her feel betrayed at the moment? And to offer Trixie a second chance, believing that she would cling to this world so dearly that she would gladly relish her reality?
Was she not feeling happy, taking a great pleasure talking with Twilight back at the chamber? Did she not experience supreme delight at the thought of participating in the grand celebration, respected as she should have been in the first place, truly eligible to bear the title ‘The Great and Powerful’?
Trixie chastised herself for the thought. As always, she bit her lips, trying to get hold of herself from self-indulged fantasies. Not a chance for the Great and Powerful Trixie. To give in to the world constructed of falseness was the sure one-way ticket heading directly to fatal consequences she rather not decided to ponder about. She was well-versed with tricks and illusions. During the show, high above her audience, she was the master, pulling twists and turns in a way that pleased the crowd. At that very moment the lies she made could be forgiven, for it was solely for entertainment her deception was put into use.
Outside the show, however, was entirely a different story. Trixie had well registered the fact in her mind: once outside her grand domain, her spells and tricks-she accepted with bitter resentment-was near useless. Who vanquished the star-bear at the end? Not the Great and Powerful Trixie, but Twilight Sparkle, the unicorn who just ran away from her show; Trixie sensed a bit of modesty from her, but unwittingly the lavender unicorn was the one directly responsible for the magician’s ruin.
No way could the lavender unicorn have intended it. Just a cruel coincidence, the world moving in its mysterious way, sometimes straying off here and there, defying prophesies and predictions. And that made Trixie felt more uncomfortable. No one to blame but herself; she boasted, and when her boasts were so suddenly revealed, the Great and Powerful Trixie was no more, just a frightened unicorn whose last moves were so pathetic that made her cover her face in shame.
But others ruined her show, didn’t they? Trixie thought, letting out her anger to speak for itself. They should not have committed the horrible act of accusing a magician of her boasts; it was her job! To boast, and to entertain! Nopony, not even alicorn princesses, was to question the magician’s authority-especially during the show, when she was supposed to be the arch-trickster purely for fun’s sake. Twilight, she at least should have known, yet so good a bookworm did not know the basic format of the magic show, of how it operated, the basic MANNERS of the audiences; ever since that day, her musing over the subject fostered great anger inside Trixie, and sometimes she felt it quite a burden to keep it under her control. Nevertheless she constantly reminded herself letting out her frustrations would not help much as her incredible amount of self-control forcibly worked inside her mind.
Trixie on the outside, she was a poor thing, alone in her shabby shed. Not a single pony cared for her. But the Great and Powerful Trixie on the inside, she had it all. Just name it. Glory, power, friends, honor, prestige, reputation, all Trixie ever dreamed of, not to mention greatness and power. Not to mention she knew where the scent of the perfume came from; the room of course! Dreams were consisted of visions, not smells and sounds. Could Trixie ever remember her dream involving any sound or smell? This was surely not a dream.
Before Trixie could wonder when the last voice entered her train of thoughts, she saw Twilight noticing Trixie busily engaged in her pondering. With her ears catching some hidden changes Trixie could not understand, Twilight turned around to see Trixie. “Trixie! You are finally awake! We were really worried about you.”
How did Twilight turned around from whatever task she was engrossed in Trixie decided not to inquire. She let go of her raging emotions; for now she would stay low, pretending to follow whatever play this inverted world had in store. She knew she was in a place where she should not be, and for now knowing that fact was enough for her.
Trixie immediately resumed her placid look, not giving any idea to Twilight that the blue unicorn in front of her was not really what she thought to be. “Trixie thanks her friend. She must have felt so tired from the ordeal she went through.” Besides, seeing the unicorn’s caring and genuinely concerned eyes actually did succeed in breaking down Trixie’s everlasting self-barrier of doubts and her agitation that existed mere minutes ago, making Trixie to form the most natural smile she had in ages. “Trixie is feeling fine; nothing to worry about.”
Forming her lips to say the word ‘friend’ left quite a sour taste on her mouth, but either Trixie masked her irritation well, or Twilight Sparkle here was so innocent, things passed smoothly without suspicions and doubts, at least on the lavender unicorn’s side. “Just a bit of daze, that’s all.” Trixie added, hoping she could convince the unicorn in front of her that nothing was wrong with her and the incident that happened before could be safely neglected.
“It is a relief, then, to see our master recovered from the great stress she was under.”
The door suddenly opened, revealing two unicorns dressed in black tuxedo suits. One was small and chubby, the other one tall and slim. They held the stern unchanging frown of the guard ponies, taking short restricted steps, the air of seriousness all around them.
This time Trixie tried real hard not to shout. In fact, she had to pinch her arm to make sure her slight chuckle go unnoticed. Her eyes grew big from the utter shock she just received. Somepony must have hit her head so hard with a hammer. That was the most logical explanation she could come up with. The two little asses (as she called them) as her apprentices, wearing fancy clothes and speaking eloquently? Trixie suddenly remembered how previously in this mirror world she conversed with Twilight in the old changing chamber, ‘recalling’ that Snips and Snails were to wait for her at the grand Canterlot Hall, but she really did not expect them to be so…reserved and refined.
She quickly regained her wits, however, her voice surprisingly calm given the situation she was into. “Snips and Snails, it is glad to see you two. But not to worry; Trixie relieves you of your duty for tonight. Of course she has not forgotten the grand celebration. Speaking of which, has the celebration started yet?”
Trixie could play the game. She was not entirely dumbfounded, for magician had to-or at least attempt to-take everything under her control. She coughed a little, again masking the giggle that somehow escaped her firmly closed mouth.
“Still a good thirty minutes left, master.” Snips said in the heavy Canterlot accent, the ever-curious method of speaking every syllable of Equestrian language in a ‘fancy’ way. Trixie nodded, still feeling little uncomfortable. But she hid her qualms reasonably well. “Now that we know that you are well, we shall wait for you at the hall, as you ordered. Come, Snips.” Snails motioned the pudgy unicorn to follow, of which he swiftly nodded and took slow purposeful steps.
“Miss Sparkle, I count on you and your acquaintances to take care of our master?” Snips’ voice had the similar accent as Snails’, only in deeper tone. He held the firm resolute gaze at the lavender unicorn, but soon made a small grin. “But that should not be a concern, if I may voice my opinion, as you are her acquaintance. We shall expect you at the Celebration.” The pair withdrew from the room as silently they appeared.
“You can count on me!” Twilight giggled, looking back at Trixie. “AJ and Dash carried you the moment you collapsed. The others immediately informed the two princesses. Princess Celestia and Luna came to see you, and said we should leave you to rest for a while. Well, I stayed in case you wake up.”
“How long have I been lying on the bed?” She asked Twilight. By now there was no doubt she was in this alternate world inside the mirror. Figuring out that fact, nevertheless, Trixie knew it was only the beginning of this ridiculous play she had fallen into. She tried to quickly scan over her memory and find out if there was any thread of thought she could refer to, but it was as tangled as ever, as if someone-or something-deliberately tried to make the mess inside her head.
“Not long. Princess Luna said that you were affected with a surge of weariness that had been building inside you for several days. Actually, she assured us and Princess Celestia you would wake up within few minutes. She is the Princess of the Night after all, so my idea is that she can tell how tired you are, and how much sleep you need to get rid of it.”
Trixie quickly analyzed the piece of information she just heard and from before. Now she performed the role of Trixie inside this world, she needed to make it sure her speech and actions did not stray from her given position. Back in the world where she originally belonged, she picked up from the ponies chitchattering to know how the bearers of the Elements defeated two evil beings, Nightmare Moon and Discord. She was at the both celebration, first time unknowingly, second time with a purpose in mind. Was she jealous? Probably. She could not entirely disregard her emotion, for it was a very natural for a pony to be affected by her emotion. Maybe it was also curiosity, and a slight degree of wonder, to see them blessed by the princesses, crowd cheering for them, they shouting out their names in great reverence, that made Trixie, as ponies often have uttered, green with envy.
During her show the audience cheered, sometimes cried out her name. But could the kudos she received be ever compared to the supreme honor bestowed upon Twilight and her friends, not only once but twice? She felt a slight twitch-a sure sign of her mind attempting to get better over her. She continued her information-processing task. What is happening right now? Soon there will be the celebration of defeating Nightmare Moon and Discord. Who defeated the two evil spirits? The Great and Powerful Trixie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy. How? Twilight and others are the bearers of Elements. Each represents one of the Elements of the Harmony.
But what did Trixie represent? Nothing. So how did she end up getting as much praise as the bearers? She helped them in times of great peril. She led the bearers to the Nightmare Moon. She confronted Discord, and bravely stood up to him. He tried his best to influence her, but to Trixie his tricks and deceits were at best laughable. She came out intact from the encounter, and managed to meet Twilight Sparkle, and inspired her to take on the action. Right?
Trixie did not. At least Trixie on the outside. In this world, now that was a very different story, as Trixie had seen so far with her very own eyes. She had to remember the fact-who was she? The Great and Powerful Trixie. What did she do? So much, but not defeating two ancient evil spirits. Where was she? Some kind of mock-world where she found it so dangerously tantalizing to give in.
All of her assessments happened in a flash of seconds, for Trixie had to show Twilight that she-at least on the surface-was Trixie Twilight expected her to be. “Indeed, Trixie feels fine now. That was what she needed: some nice quick sleep. She is now ready to meet her friends.”
This time, she hardly winced at all when uttering the word she briefly hesitated to use before. If she was to be part of the show, she better be perfect for her role. She would put the best of her illusions. At the very same time, she would find a way to break the mirror’s spell; it had challenged her with its own lies and falsehoods. Hence as a magician, she had to accept the challenge. She was not the Great and Powerful Trixie for nothing; one did not simply trick the Great and Powerful Trixie and got away with it. The lavender pony could wait. For now, she faced an immediate ‘neighsayer’ she needed to deal with.
“So, Trixie thinks now she and Twilight should go to the Canterlot Hall?”
“Sure! Oh, this night will be so wonderful!” Twilight took brisk steps which seemed like high jumps, almost like a pegasus getting ready to lift-off. Trixie again felt a slight twitch inside her-it would have been so wonderful, if this world was not built upon cheap lies and mockeries.
Trixie frowned in a way that was unnoticeable even to the most watchful eye, and began to follow the lavender unicorn still taking jolly steps. Quickly she resumed her analysis. What was to be done? For now, be the actor of the show-or to be more precise, allow Trixie to be the marionette of this show, until she could find a way to break away from this mirror world. Her place was high above the show, not inside it.